Jets-Patriots: Well, at least one team feels better about itself
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The Jets and Patriots each entered Sunday’s AFC East matchup with some concerns: New York on offense, with quarterback Mark Sanchez and company struggling at times this season; and New England on defense, giving up 477.5 yards a game.
A day later, the Patriots have got to be feeling better about their defense after a 30-21 victory, during which they held the Jets to just 255 yards and kept them from a first down on seven of their 11 possessions.
“We said, ‘Enough’s enough,’ and that’s where you make your stand,” said Patriots defensive end Andre Carter, who had seven tackles.
And the Patriots (4-1) accomplished all of that without star linebacker Jerod Mayo, who was out with a serious knee sprain.
“I think every week we’ve been getting better and better and better [defensively], and today was a good day to get back on track,” defensive tackle Vince Wilfork said.
The New England offense continued to roll, with quarterback Tom Brady completing 24 of 33 passes for 321 yards, a touchdown and an interception and BenJarvus Green-Ellis rushing for a career-high 136 yards and two touchdowns.
Meanwhile, the question marks linger for the Jets’ (2-3) offense. A New York Post headline reads, ‘Three and Doubt,’ referring to the team’s three-game losing streak (a headline on the Jets’ website is a bit more optimistic: ‘Not Perfect, But Offense Makes Some Strides.’)
“We lost two in a row last year, but we bounced right back from it,” said Sanchez, who completed 16 of 26 passes for 166 yards and two touchdowns a week after going 11 for 35 for 119 yards in a 34-17 loss to the Baltimore Ravens. ‘This is a little different territory. So we’re going to see what a lot of guys are made of on this team, and it’s my job to get guys ready to play this next week against Miami.’
The Jets might get a little relief by hosting the winless Dolphins next week, but then things get tough again, with games against three 4-1 teams: the San Diego Chargers, the Buffalo Bills and the Patriots.
-- Chuck Schilken
The Associated Press contributed to this report.